I have a deep passion for working with my dogs. It started when I was a little girl and made obstacle courses in our living room for my Beagle, Puddles. I love the bond that is created between me and my dog when I teach them something or we are doing an activity together, no matter how simple. Over the last 17 years, I’ve had multiple breeds and competed in several dog sports for fun. I’m not a person that is driven to obtain a championship in any sport, I just adore spending time with my dogs. It is my happy place. I truly believe that doing activities with your dogs will bring joy to both your lives.

Heather’s first titled dog, Lucy “Let Loose From Phoenix” CTL1-R CTL1-H CTL1-S CTL1-F CTL1 CTL2-R CTL2-H CTL2-S”, Sept 16, 2005-Jan 20, 2017

I have seen countless dogs adopted, only to have their new owners discover they had incredible talents. Whether that be a knack for therapy work, talent on an agility field, an obedience ring, dock diving, scent work, etc. The bond that is created when you and your dog discover something you really enjoy together, and build on it, is like no other. I believe giving our dogs tasks can thoroughly enrich their lives. Now, believe me, I’ve had my fair share of couch potatoes too, but I’ve also had several adopted dogs that showed incredible talent in different arenas. I’ve had friends who have adopted dogs with incredible talent. It has never been about the breed, it has been about looking at the individual dog, recognizing certain traits in them, and giving them a space to shine. Even if all you are doing is teaching your Pit Bull to “leave it”, your Bulldog to “speak”, or your Bichon mix to “heel”, they love it. They love learning and getting the praise that comes with them getting it right. I find, that for many dogs, brain work is far more enriching than miles around the neighborhood. Truth be told, I’ve never been a person who consistently walks their dogs. I know, I know, but I consistently do brain work with the dogs that want to do it and I believe it helps to keep them fulfilled and happy.

Vicki Almy with Bryant, “What About Me” BN RE TT CGC

In the upcoming posts, I will teach you about a world of possibilities in dog sports and activities. I will introduce you to some very special dogs that have shined in their adoptive homes, in various venues. The stories are about relationships between owners and their dogs. The dogs that you will meet have come from various circumstances at varying ages. Many have even earned titles, which means that their bond is forever imprinted in not only their memories, but in history.

Heather Brendle is a member of Community Canine Project. She is passionate about giving her dogs a way to exercise not only their bodies, but their brains too. Heather volunteers her time with shelter dogs at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control where she implements brain games and exercises routinely with the dogs, while also helping others learn how to do the same. Heather currently has an adopted English Bulldog named Tater, who holds barn hunt and trick titles and is training to compete in scent work.